Project Vera

Last summer, I posted a wish list of guns I planned to buy next. A lot of interesting things have transpired in the meantime, and I use the word “interesting” in the full sense of the old Arab curse, “May you live in interesting times.”

The first gun on my list was an AR-15, and I’m happy to report the kickoff of what I am calling Project Vera.

The first step, and really the one that kicked it all off, was getting a great deal on a stripped aluminum lower made by Northern Frontier Armory, from Mike at Dog Leg Arms. Once I had this, I read a bunch, and tweeted some, and came up with a plan to build a home defense gun with the following general specs:

  • Flat top upper, maybe a Sporting version without forward assist.
  • 16 inch barrel, 1:7 twist. Chrome lined.
  • Red dot optic with co-witnessed iron backups – either 1x or 1-4x.
  • Multi position stock.
  • Single stage military trigger.
  • Weapon light, possibly with a laser.

Later, as finances allow, I plan to get a shorter barrel and a suppressor, since this will likely be used indoors in a defense situation.

I did some research on trigger groups, and looked at some on the interwebz. On Saturday I happened to be at Lakeside Guns in Acworth, Georgia, and saw a DPMS lower parts kit, for just a little more than what I’ve seen. I had no problem spending it, since I not only saved shipping cost, but I got it right now, and I supported a great local business.

Of course, the best part of all is that the lower receiver, the part with the serial number, is the only part of the gun that I have to buy through an FFL. The rest I can buy from Lakeside Guns, or over the Interwebz, or gun shows, or wherever I want. And, not coincidentally, it’s the only part that’s subject to the Ad Valorum tax. This means, if nothing else, I’ll save a little over buying a complete gun then making the mods I want.

Up next: assembly of the lower. Pray for me.

2 thoughts on “Project Vera

  1. Serious suggestion for building the lower – do it in a large box, like a moving box, with holes cut out for your hands and some kind of plexiglass over the top. AR-15s are a mass of tiny springs and tinier detants, and once you get them all together, you will be fine, but the getting them together part is frought with the danger of one of those springs achieving escape velocity and heading for Parts Unknown. It is not hard, per se, but it is damned annoying. It is, however, kind of cool to be able to look back on it and go, "I built that." Or, at least, you put it together :). Me, I copped out and bought a complete upper, though – those require more specialized tools (and have more capacity for catastrophic FAIL) than I was willing to spring for.


  2. Thanks for the advice. I have just such a setup available, thanks to the recent warm weather and being able to take down the storm windows.I have to confess, I have been leaning toward a complete upper, although I plan to get the handguard tool.I am still leaning toward a suppressor in the future, too. That will mean a barrel tool, probably, but I can worry about that later.


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